Session #1 - Melissa Gordon with Jessica Wiesner, Fiona James and Josefina Camus - Gesture

Melissa Gordon, Gesture, 2017.


Session #1 - 30 Oct 2017

What is the syntax of a gesture, and is its behaviour interesting to look at, on the surface of an art work, in context, and in history?

In this MARs session we considered texts, a film and an experience with the participants' bodies which examine questions of historic 'liveliness', questions around performativity, and the inherent relation of the body to gesture. The final session included a presentation on Melissa Gordon’s research into the 'liquidity' of gesture, and on the question of a queer aesthetics, as well as a presentation by the artist Marie Lund on the role of gesture in her work.


Melissa Gordon (b. 1981) takes up questions of authorship and abstraction in her ongoing serial projects: Blow Up ModernistsStructures for Viewing, and most recently, Material Evidence. In these series, Gordon implements her particular cache of gestures - enlarging hidden details, zooming in on patterns of reproduction, and distorting information with abstraction in paintings, silkscreens and installations - to reconfigure histories, surfaces, and iconographies through a feminist lens. With her sculptural installations, prints and paintings, Gordon takes a humorous and insightful stance vis-à-vis modernist art history, challenging the canon precisely through her close and unique reading of it.


Josefina Camus is a London based artist originally from Chile. She studied Literature (Universidad de Chile) and Dance (Universidad ARCIS) in Chile and holds an MA in Arts with a dance specialisation (Université Paris 8, 2016). Her work transits between performance, choreography and installation. She has developed her artistic experience in different cities, mostly in Santiago, Paris, and London, collaborating with local artists from different fields. Her interdisciplinary work explores ways to enlarge the use of perception, emphasizing the performance as a synesthetic experience, through the use of sculpture, sound, light, video and movement.


Fiona James’ work alines theoretical investigation with performance and has been presented at Residency Unlimited, New York; JVE, Maastricht; Kunstraum, London; Anxiety Arts Festival, London; ICA, London; and, Temporary-Kunsthalle, Berlin. Co-founder of Bidston Observatory Artistic Research Centre, a not-for-profit site (opening 2018), she is currently training in Brainspotting and as a Trauma and Stress Release (TRE) practitioner.


Jess Wiesner is an artist and researcher whose collaborative projects and solo work have been exhibited at Hessel Museum of Art, New York; Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge; Tate Modern, London; KW, Berlin; Montague Space, London; CIC, Cairo; Chisenhale Gallery, London. With a practice that looks to alternative forms of agency, she is currently undertaking research into ill-fitting actions through an AHRC funded PhD (Northumbria/Sunderland Universities)